D2X- In Camera Multiple Exposure

Usually I read that H-2 on the D2X is not usable and that has been my experience too but, today was different….very different.

The D2X and the D200 have an item on their “Shooting Menu” called “Multiple Exposure”.

My setup was a couple of books , my Navigator phone, the Gitzo 1321 box and some books under incandescent light. D2X with CL set on a, Velbon 630 tripod, RRS BH55-LR ballhead, D2X with the RRS L Plate, and hooked to a remote release. ISO set to MAX which is, H-2 ( ISO 3200).

The camera on Aperture Priority, Matrix metering came up with a value of 13 @ F4. My Sekonic 308s Lightmeter gave me 20 @ F4 for the same scene but I decided to run with the camera meter since it was more right shifted than the Sekonic.

Analysis
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in_camera_multiple_exposures_comparison

(All shots at ISO 3200 ( H-2 on the D2X) 100% crops of camera JPG. Composite image not sharpened, saved to Quality 9 )

The Multiple exposure feature adds/sums/integrates RAW data from multiple exposures into one final image. Adding data means more signal added without amplification or regeneration from existing data. Better Signal to Noise ratio basically. This leads to significantly lesser noise. More the number of exposures, lesser the apparent noise noticed.

For H-2 my experiment gave me acceptable results when I added “06” exposures with Auto Gain set to ON. When Auto Gain is set to ON, the camera divides the exposure such that the summation of all the exposures is the original exposure for the scene.

When Auto-Gain is OFF, the camera will simple add the data and there is a chance of blowing the highlights unless, one hits the correct initial exposure + correct number of exposures equation. Ideally, the correct initial exposure + correct number of exposures should result in the final output without blowing the highlights.

Summary
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Multiple Exposure at H-2 (ISO 3200) is a feature that can be used very effectively for static subjects. You will need a tripod and Mirror UP setting is recommended. The initial exposure to be decided upon is critical. Bad initial exposure = More Noise and, correct initial exposure= Less Noise. Let the camera handle the exposure and play with EV compensation, right shift the histogram while keeping Auto Gain ON and you will notice a significant reduction in noise at HIGH ISO. Whatever little noise that may result can then be very easily worked upon in any noise reduction software by applying minimal amounts of corrections. After one iteration of “Multiple Exposure” the setting turns to “OFF”. For the second “Multiple Exposure” sequence, you will need to set it via the menu yet again.

Here is the same ISO 3200 shot number 0003 (100% crop from the RAW) worked upon a little for NR and saved to JPEG Excellent Quality (value 100) using Capture NX. Looks pretty good to me !

20070804_0003_nx_nr

Final Recommended settings for this test @ H-2 = ISO 3200
————————————————————-

Shot 0003
———
D2X ISO – Set to H-2
Multiple Exposures – ON
Multiple Exposures -06
AUTO GAIN – ON
High ISO Noise Reduction – OFF
Long Exposure Noise Reduction – OFF
Metering – Aperture Priority ( Came up as 13, F4)
Sharpening – Medium High ( for In camera JPEG)
File Format ( RAW+ JPEG-Large)

Details of each exposure below:-

Shot 0001
———
D2X ISO – Set to H-2
Multiple Exposures – ON
Multiple Exposures -02
AUTO GAIN – ON
High ISO Noise Reduction – OFF
Long Exposure Noise Reduction – OFF
Metering – Aperture Priority ( Came up as 13, F4)
Sharpening – Medium High ( for In camera JPEG)
File Format ( RAW+ JPEG-Large)
Analysis: Lesser Noise that Shot 0002

Shot 0002 ( Normal Shot)
———
D2X ISO – Set to H-2
Multiple Exposures – OFF
Multiple Exposures -01
AUTO GAIN – ON
High ISO Noise Reduction – OFF
Long Exposure Noise Reduction – OFF
Metering – Aperture Priority ( Came up as 13, F4)
Sharpening – Medium High ( for In camera JPEG)
File Format ( RAW+ JPEG-Large)
Analysis: I see high Noise

Shot 0003
———
D2X ISO – Set to H-2
Multiple Exposures – ON
Multiple Exposures -06
AUTO GAIN – ON
High ISO Noise Reduction – OFF
Long Exposure Noise Reduction – OFF
Metering – Aperture Priority ( Came up as 13, F4)
Sharpening – Medium High ( for In camera JPEG)
File Format ( RAW+ JPEG-Large)
Analysis: Very slight noise noticable. Can be easily worked on in PP and, might be acceptable as it is, in print.

3 thoughts on “D2X- In Camera Multiple Exposure

  1. Dear Kris

    This is very interesting actually and am more intrigued by the fact how you stumble upon these ideas of experimentation. Great job, indeed very helpful for us.

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